About Us

President: Alasdair Jamieson
Leader: Claire Jowett
Conductor: Edward Venn

Founded in 1898, York Symphony Orchestra is the city’s oldest amateur orchestra. Our aim is to give amateur musicians in York and the surrounding area the opportunity to rehearse and perform works from the orchestral repertoire. We particularly keen to encourage younger players, and many of our soloists are young musicians with links to York. We meet weekly for rehearsals, and we give three concerts each year, in November/December, March, and June/July.


The Orchestra was founded by T. Tertius Noble in 1898.  Each of these pages covers a major period in the orchestra’s history:

A fuller version of the history of the YSO, entitled Mr. Noble’s Band, written by Anthony Fox and Brian Hibbins, is available from the authors.  You can also order a copy by e-mail.


Concert Archive

Note: The original archive material is now housed in the Borthwick Institute for Archives, located at the University of York.  For the material up to the second world war see the Papers of the York Symphony Orchestra 1898-1937.

The archive comprises:

  • Lists of the works performed in all concerts given by the Orchestra since its foundation.
    There are five sections, covering the periods 1898-1915, 1919-1939, 1948-1980, 1980-2020 and 2020-present.
  • Selected documents from the history of the orchestra, including reproductions of the programmes and the text of many reviews and other documents;
  • Reproductions of some historic pictures of the orchestra.

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